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[504] of Gordon and Wharton, suddenly charged on them from their ambush and handsomely routed them, with severe loss. Rosser advanced, on the back road, to Cedar creek, and engaged the cavalry guarding that approach to Sheridan's rear. Lomax continued down the Page valley, through Luray and Front Royal, and drove the Federal pickets from Guard hill, above the forks of the Shenandoah, on the Front Royal and Winchester turnpike. After this bold, well-planned and successful attack on Sheridan's camp (one that should have shown him its vulnerable location), Early's first Cedar creek battle, he fell back to Fisher's Hill and went into camp. The Federal cavalry continued the burning of crops, barns, etc., in the vicinity of Front Royal, until driven away by Lomax.

Early remained at Fisher's hill during the 15th, having some skirmishing with the enemy on Hupp's hill, as he reconnoitered, and found them busily fortifying the north bank of Cedar creek and the camp which they had reoccupied, with so little judgment and in apparent ignorance of the weakness of that position, as they learned to their cost a little later, when the famous battle of Cedar Creek was joined.

All was quiet during the day of the 16th, but at night Rosser's brigade of cavalry, each cavalryman taking an infantryman of Grimes' brigade of Ramseur's division, mounted behind him, marched to surprise the cavalry camp of the enemy on the back road, near Cedar creek; but he found only a picket, which he captured, the camp having been moved. On the 17th of October, Early's troops were advanced a mile or more, to between Tumbling run and Strasburg, to cover Rosser's movement, and reconnoissances were made in front of Strasburg, while General Gordon and Captain Hotchkiss of the engineers went to the signal station, on the end of Three-top mountain, to reconnoiter the enemy's position with reference to an attack; Captain Hotchkiss, from this lofty point of observation, which overlooked all of Sheridan's camps, making a map showing the position of Sheridan's army and its defensive works, and locating all its guards and pickets. Pegram advanced to Cedar creek, on the back road, to ascertain the feasibility of an attack from that direction.

From the reports of General Gordon and Captain

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